Today is finally the day. Ubuntu 17.04 "Zesty Zapus" is available for download. No, this is not an Alpha or Beta, but an official stable version of the Linux-based operating system. Unfortunately, the release is a bit tainted -- it uses Unity as the official desktop environment, which Canonical has announced will be killed. Not to mention, there has been some controversy regarding some comments by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth. Just yesterday, the CEO of Canonical announced she is leaving the position.
With all of the aforementioned controversy and chaos, it is understandably hard to get too excited for "Zesty Zapus," especially as this is not a long term support version. With that said, if you are an existing Ubuntu user that likes Unity, this is certainly a worthwhile upgrade if you are OK with the shorter support. Unity may no longer have a future, but version 7 will continue to be supported -- for a while, at least.
"Codenamed 'Zesty Zapus', Ubuntu 17.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs. Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.10-based kernel, and much more," says Adam Conrad, Software Engineer, Canonical.
Conrad further says, "Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, and stability improvements to Unity. Ubuntu Server 17.04 includes the Ocata release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when deploying distributed applications - whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86, ARM, or POWER servers, z System mainframes, or on developer laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to juju, have been updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features."
Keep in mind, Ubuntu Linux 17.04 "Zesty Zapus" is not a Unity-only affair. Just like previous releases, there are plenty of other "flavors" available, meaning versions with alternative desktop environments. With Unity's demise confirmed, this might be a good time to try a different DE, such as Xfce (Xubuntu), KDE (Kubuntu), or LXDE (Lubuntu). Heck, with GNOME becoming the default environment in Ubuntu 18.04, now would be a great time to begin using Ubuntu GNOME -- I highly recommend it.
Ready to download? You can use the below links to read the official release notes and download the appropriate image.
Which flavor of Ubuntu will you download? Tell me in the comments.